Everyone knows that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be an extraordinarily stressful time of the year. People are running all over town trying to put together perfect Christmas feasts and parties, looking high and low for the perfect Christmas gifts. It looks like chickens with their heads cut-off, the way we let this holiday completely usurp our lives. There are ways to make Christmas more relaxing without forgetting the whole thing all together. What follows is a brief list of tips to help keep you sane while everyone around you goes crazy. The key to making these tips work, lots of planning and organization.
Xmas shopping, more so than any other holiday activity, is a major stressor. The lines are long, traffic is terrible, the days are ridiculously short and everything seems like it is marked up 50% for the holidays. One way to reduce the stress of xmas shopping is to save money. One of the major sources of stress involved in xmas shopping is the amount of money that everything is costing. Between the parties and the presents, the price tag on a jovial holiday can be inordinately high. One way to beat holdiday stress is therefore to find ideas for inexpensive Christmas gifts. Just because they are inexpensive Christmas gifts doesn't mean that they have to be cheap or impersonal. One way to do this is to shop early. If you shop early enough you can wait for sales. If you are crafty, a trip to a local craft store might give you boundless ideas for make-it yourself crafts. People love high-quality home made crafts and it will be even more special because it is so personal. Even if you are not especially artistic there are inexpensive craft kits that you can put together or you could always go to a do-it-yourself pottery place. Great finds can also be found at garage sales and flee markets. Again, you will want to do your shopping well in advance because meets, flee markets, and garage sales can be a crap shoot.
Another way to reduce holiday stress is to schedule some breaks into your holiday season. Again, it is very important that you start planning early if you want Christmas shopping breaks or breaks from parties or other holiday activities. If you have cupboard space, stock up on non-perishable cooking and baking essentials well before the holidays. Doing this will help you avoid impromptu trips to the grocery store for powdered sugar or another not -often used staple. Pick a couple days during the shopping season and make it your party/Christmas shopping breaks. It will be a day where there is no fancy food, no excessive eating or drinking, no parties and no xmas shopping. It should be a day just for you or you and your family to de-stress and take a break from the holiday hubbub. The point of the day is to recharge your batteries, not make you scramble for time, so make sure that your xmas shopping is on schedule and that you are pretty sure that nothing is going to come out of left field to ruin your day.